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Archive for Category : News: Healthcare Archives - Page 9 of 11 - We Win They Lose

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NYT: Heart Trouble Early and Often in H.I.V. Patients

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Published on: June 18, 2012

Original Article - NYT: Heart Trouble Early and Often in H.I.V. Patients

Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Mark Abramson has been HIV positive since 1988 and writes about his experiences in San Francisco.

 

Mike Godfrey was 19 when he found out he had H.I.V.

He was 29 when he began antiretroviral therapy.

He was 43 when he had a heart attack.

“I felt fluttery,” he said. “Weird and fluttery. It went away. I ignored it. A week later, it came back, and this time I felt something in my arm too. I was too stupid to call an ambulance. I got in a cab and went to the hospital.”

Mr. Godfrey’s experience exemplifies something a few AIDS specialists have long suspected, and cardiologists have now found evidence to support: People infected with H.I.V. have more heart attacks and have them earlier in life. Even patients whose infection is well suppressed by AIDS drugs are at higher risk.

Experts in the field said doctors need to be better informed about this little-known threat to their H.I.V.-positive patients. The threat also reinforces a message that public health experts keep emphasizing: H.I.V. is no longer an automatic death sentence, but it is still a dangerous disease.

“I think most cardiologists and most H.I.V. specialists are not really aware of this,” said Dr. Priscilla Y. Hsue, a cardiologist at San Francisco General Hospital who treats many AIDS patients. “Most of the people I see are referred to me after they’ve had a heart attack, a bypass, a stent. To me, that’s too late. We should be screening people for coronary disease, aggressively treating blood pressure, aggressively treating cholesterol.”

People with H.I.V. have more than four times the risk of sudden heart attack as their uninfected peers, Dr. Hsue and her colleagues reported last month in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The most likely explanation is that both the virus and the drugs that fight it cause chronic inflammation, said Dr. Paul M. Ridker, a Harvard Medical School professor who led pioneering studies that established the connection between inflammation and heart disease. (He was not involved in the study published last month.) Also, he said, the drugs cause the liver to make more cholesterol, another heart attack risk factor.

While the link between H.I.V. and heart disease is not generally known in the medical profession, some doctors who specialize in the treatment of AIDS patients have long suspected such a connection.

“I’ve had a number of patients — men in their late 40s and early 50s — who were just found dead at home,” said Dr. Steven G. Deeks, an AIDS expert at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study. “I’ve always thought that was happening more than it should.”

Both the virus that causes AIDS and other infections that can accompany it can inflame tissues, he said. Inflammation can produce blood clots, which can cause heart attacks. And in the intestines, the virus can cause “leaky gut syndrome,” by which other inflammatory microbes enter the bloodstream.

Dr. Zian H. Tseng, a heart rhythm specialist and a co-author with Dr. Hsue of the new study, said he stumbled on the H.I.V.-cardiac connection while he was doing a survey of every sudden heart attack death in San Francisco and noticed that many victims were taking antiretroviral drugs.

“Initially, I thought it was just because of the high prevalence of H.I.V.-positive people in San Francisco, but it was clearly more than that,” he said.

The researchers scoured the medical records of 2,860 patients who were seen between 2000 and 2009 in Ward 86, San Francisco General’s famous AIDS clinic. For those who had died, they checked death certificates and paramedic reports and interviewed doctors and family members, trying to see how many had had heart attacks.

They acknowledged some limitations: Smoking and recreational drug use are more common among people with H.I.V., and few of the dead were autopsied. But all deaths that looked like overdoses, suicides or assaults, as well as slow AIDS deaths, were excluded.

There have been previous studies suggesting that people with H.I.V. develop high cholesterol and blocked arteries about a decade earlier than normal, but that is only now becoming widely recognized.

“I didn’t know I had a heart problem until I had a heart attack and a double bypass in 2003,” said Mark Abramson, 59, author of the “Beach Reading” series of gay mystery/romance novels.

Although he saw doctors and was intermittently taking AIDS medication when he had medical insurance during his years as a bartender, “no one told me I was in a high-risk group.”

He smoked and knew his blood pressure was “a little high.” He did not remember any cholesterol tests.

Sharon Hampton, 57, had heart trouble first and only later learned of a likely connection to the virus.

In her 30s, she developed high blood pressure and signs of congestive heart failure. A self-professed workaholic, she blamed the pressure of her job as a hospital claims processor. Her physician advised her to find something less stressful; she did for a while, but then moved to Sacramento and started working at another hospital.

At age 45, she said, “I had a heart attack right at my desk — thank God the E.R. was only seven feet away from the business office.”

After a quintuple bypass, she initially went back to work. But her health deteriorated, and she has lived with family members since.

Last Thanksgiving, after a health crisis hospitalized her, she learned she had H.I.V.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I totally freaked out. I thought it had to be a false positive. I’ve been celibate for a long time. I never had that lifestyle. I’m afraid of drugs.”

But when she was young, she said, she was briefly married to a man she later learned injected drugs.

“I just never knew,” she said. “He was Michelangelo’s David. I was a country bumpkin.”

She is apparently a rare “elite suppressor,” part of the 1 to 2 percent of the infected who, for unknown reasons, control the virus without drugs. Although she has a nearly undetectable viral load and no opportunistic infections, her doctors at U.C.S.F. believe that the virus contributed to her heart problems.

Jose Raneda, a 48-year-old former lawyer from Milwaukee, has seen the thinking about the H.I.V.-heart connection change in the last few years.

He has known he was infected since he was 21, started on AIDS cocktails as soon as they were available, never had a low CD4-cell count or an AIDS-related infection, and has always been slim.

But he had his first of two heart attacks at age 40.

“I asked my H.I.V. doctor if it was related, and he said it wasn’t,” he said. “I think he was mistaken.”

His former physician, Dr. Ian H. Gilson of the Medical College of Wisconsin, agreed.

“At the time, we didn’t have a lot of solid evidence of the connection,” he said. “My thinking has evolved. I’d tell him something different now.”

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Ginsburg: Expect “Sharp Disagreement” in SCOTUS Rulings (Obamacare R.I.P.)

Original Article - Ginsburg: Expect “Sharp Disagreement” in SCOTUS Rulings (Obamacare R.I.P.)

Sometimes, if you have nothing to say, it’s probably best to say nothing at all. This is an old saw which was apparently lost on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week, when she decided to take time out of her busy schedule and talk about the court’s upcoming decisions – including the one on the Obamacare mandate – by not really saying anything.

With a wry smile, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg laid waste Friday to all those rumors about the fate of the Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court.

“Those who know don’t talk. And those who talk don’t know,” she quipped Friday night at a conference hosted by the American Constitution Society at the Capital Hilton.

Ginsburg said she was responding to a “steady stream of rumors and fifth-hand accounts” about the court’s deliberations on the law.

Careful not to tip her hand on the court’s ruling — expected in the next two weeks — Ginsburg described the oral arguments in the case as unprecedented for the number of “press conferences, prayer circles, protests and counterprotests” that occurred on the courthouse steps.

This does confirm one thing, however, which some of us have debated from time to time. The Justices absolutely do keep track of their own press coverage and are aware of the ebb and flow in the tide of public opinion. Lady Justice may be blind, but she definitely has access to cable TV.

A second quote from the event let another hint slip through the wall of silence.

The 21 remaining decisions, she said, were “many of the most controversial cases” that the court reviewed this term.

“It is likely that the sharp disagreement rate will go up next week and the week after,” she said.

That one shouldn’t be too hard to translate. Yet again, rather than finding some clear, general consensus on what the Constitution of the United States actually says and how it applies to the cases in question, we can expect yet another series of inflammatory rulings on high profile cases where the court splits 5-4 along partisan lines. (A concept which you might think most people would abhor in a body which is ostensibly non-partisan in nature.) Public faith in the court has been falling and may soon bottom out in the realm of the favorability of Congress.

So when Anthony Kennedy… I’m sorry, I mean the court… finishes ruling on all of these cases, what will the President and Democrats in general do if a significant portions of the rulings go against them? They have no idea.

Congressional Democrats who wrote Barack Obama’s health care plan into law say they’re getting virtually no guidance from the White House on how to deal with the fallout if the Supreme Court overturns any part of the law.

There have been no meetings, no phone calls and no paper exchanged with the administration, according to Democratic lawmakers and staff. The top aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, David Krone and John Lawrence, did meet with the White House’s chief congressional lobbyist, Rob Nabors, last week to discuss a variety of issues.

But Nabors didn’t provide any information on how the president plans to approach the court’s ruling, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

This is a bit of an odd duck to begin with, as political news coverage goes. What the White House or congressional Democrats plan to “do” if Obamacare is struck down is pretty much irrelevant, beyond what sort of excuses to make, who to blame and how to try to spin it. Once the Supremes speak the party is pretty much over. There is no higher appeal… at least until a significant number of them are gone and replaced with a new slate of partisan bulldogs.

My prediction? I still think they’re going to punt on Obamacare, claiming either that the law hasn’t ripened to the point where anyone can demonstrate damages from it or that none of the plaintiffs have standing to bring the case in the first place. But if they do rule definitively one way or the other, it’s going to bring the long, hot, dog days of summer into the political kitchen well ahead of schedule.

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Forced Abortion in China Prompts Apology and Three Officials Suspended (Graphic Photo)

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Published on: June 16, 2012

Original Article - Forced Abortion in China Prompts Apology and Three Officials Suspended (Graphic Photo)

Feng Jianmei is shown after having her 7-month-old fetus aborted because she was in violation of China’s one baby policy.

 

Three Chinese officials have been suspended and the government has apologized to a young mother who was forced to abort her child seven months into the pregnancy due to China’s one-child limit law.

Graphic images of the mother and the lifeless body of the baby sparked a public uproar after they were posted online by a Chinese activist group.

Feng Jianmei and her husband, Deng Ji Yuan, already have one child. Deng said that because of this, his wife’s pregnancy was found to be in violation of China’s one-child policy by the Family Planning authorities in their hometown of Zhenping City, located in China’s Shanxi Province.

News of Feng’s forced abortion on June 2 spread through the activist community within China and internationally. Xinhua News Agency ran a short account of her story, stories ran in newspapers and on website throughout the world.

Deng told ABC News that Feng, who is 25, was so distraught over the loss of her baby she slit her wrists in an attempted suicide.

Today the city’s government web site said Deputy Mayor Du Shouping visited the couple and apologized. He also told them that officials would be suspended pending an investigation.

“Today, I am here on behalf of the municipal government to see you and express our sincere apology to you. I hope to get your understanding,” the deputy mayor said according to the city’s website.

The official Xinhua News Agency said three officials would be relieved of their duties, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, another Chinese woman is faced with a decision whether to abort her second child or pay an exorbitant fine.

In Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province, Cao Ruyi, who says she is five months pregnant, is safe from a forced abortion, if only for the time being. Her relief follows an anxious few days.

When it was discovered Cao was pregnant, she was detained by authorities. In an interview with ABC News, Cao described how Family Planning Police dragged her from her home to a hospital for an abortion. She says she was released only after signing a contract promising to abort her child by Saturday, June 16.

Cao’s story took a different route than Feng’s. The news got out earlier through a network of concerned locals savvy enough to alert non-profit organizations dedicated to stopping forced abortions with ties in the U.S. government and international press.

Also on Monday, in Washington D.C., State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland acknowledged the case of Cao Ruyi.

“We’ve seen the reports that a Chinese woman is being detained and possibly pressured into a forced abortion by Chinese family planning authorities after purportedly violating China’s one-child policy,” she told reporters during a press briefing. “We have reached out to the authorities in Beijing to ask about this issue.”

Nuland reiterated that the U.S. strongly opposes “all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies,” which they have deemed a serious human rights abuse.

Groups from around the world became involved, including organization such as All Girls Allowed and Women’s Rights in China.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., sent a letter to local Changsha officials. The Texas-based group ChinaAid published his appeal online.

Cao was released within 48 hours after the letter was sent.

Chai Ling, the founder of the Christian activist organization All Girls Allowed and former student leader in Tiananmen Square, tells ABC News that according to Cao and her husband if they have the baby they will be forced to pay a “social burden fee” of nearly $24,000. This fee, an astronomical sum for the average Chinese citizen, is “required” for the child to be granted basic citizen rights such as access to health care and education.

Cao doubts she will ever be able to come up with that kind of money.

“She is too afraid to borrow the money,” says Chai Ling, “because she has no idea how she could pay it back.” Nor does she have any guarantee the government won’t ask for more money in the future. “That is the psychological pressure she is under,” says Chai Ling. “It becomes a money making operation for the government.”

Cao told ABC News she very much wanted to keep her baby, but she was unsure of what do to. For Cao, waiting for the Saturday deadline is torture, but every moment is also precious for the expectant mother.

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Canada Edges Closer to Legalising Assisted Suicide (National Healthcare=Asst’d Suicide)

Original Article - Canada Edges Closer to Legalising Assisted Suicide (National Healthcare=Asst’d Suicide)

The issue of euthanasia in Canada is no longer simmering on a back burner. After the Supreme Court of British Columbia found yesterday that Criminal Code provisions which prohibit doctors from helping their patients commit suicide are unconstitutional, it is on a full, rolling boil. In the landmark decision, Justice Lynn Smith set down that if suicide is legal, preventing handicapped persons from taking their lives must be discriminatory.

Judge Smith gave Canada’s Parliament a year to draft a law permitting assisted suicide. In the meantime she granted the principal plaintiff in the case, Gloria Taylor, an exemption. This makes Ms Taylor’s doctor the only person in the country who may now legally help someone commit suicide. The conditions set down by the judge are very similar to those across the border in the US states of Washington and Oregon for physician-assisted suicide.

Ms Taylor, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) released a statement which read: “I am deeply grateful to have the comfort of knowing that I’ll have a choice at the end of my life. This is a blessing for me, and other seriously and incurably ill individuals. This decision allows me to approach my death in the same way I have tried to live my life – with dignity, independence and grace.”

The controversial case was initiated by Ms Taylor, four other individuals and the BC Civil Liberties Association. They sought to have the court overturn a 1993 judgement by the Supreme Court of Canada. Sue Rodriguez, who also suffered from ALS, applied for help in committing suicide. The court denied her request but she subsequently committed suicide with the help of an anonymous physician a few months later.

The judge’s 395-page decision, which discusses many aspects of the contentious assisted suicide debate, is sure to be challenged. Basically, her argument can be summed up in one sentence: the plaintiffs “succeed because the provisions unjustifiably infringe the equality rights of Gloria Taylor and the rights to life, liberty and security of the person of Gloria Taylor, Lee Carter and Hollis Johnson [the other plaintiffs].” The case is certain to be appealed to the Supreme Court in Ottawa.

In addition to the legal arguments from Canadian law, the document raises a number of interesting ethical issues.

* Suicide, which was removed from Canada’s criminal code in 1972, now appears to be regarded as a right. “The claim that the legislation infringes Ms Taylor’s equality rights begins with the fact that the law does not prohibit suicide,” the judge wrote. Other people of sound mind can commit suicide if they want, so why not the physically handicapped? “In my opinion, the law creates a distinction that is discriminatory. It perpetuates and worsens a disadvantage experienced by persons with disabilities. The dignity of choice should be afforded to Canadians equally, but the law as it stands does not do so with respect to this ultimately personal and fundamental choice.”

* The judge acknowledges that there is no national consensus on assisted suicide. However, in her view, more important than a consensus is the existence of prestigious doctors and ethicists who do believe that it is ethical. “The Canadian physicians who deposed that they would provide assistance with hastened death if it were legal to do so were unchallenged with respect to their standing in the medical community or their understanding of and respect for medical ethics. Their evidence shows that the view that a physician can never ethically participate in terminating life is not universally held by reputable, experienced physicians, despite the position taken by the Canadian Medical Association and similar bodies.”

* The judge accepted the idea that assisted suicide can be successfully regulated. “There is a strong consensus that if physician-assisted dying were ever to be ethical, it would be only be with respect to those patients, where clearly consistent with the patient’s wishes and best interests, and in order to relieve suffering.”

Opponents of assisted suicide may highlight Justice Smith’s decision to admit as evidence two documents which missed the deadline for submitting evidence. The first is a report from the Royal Society of Canada which strongly backed the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia. It was published last November. The second is a March report from a parliamentary committee in Quebec which recommended the legalisation of euthanasia with strict safeguards.

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Thanks Obamacare: 83% of Doctors Surveyed Say They May Quit

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Published on: June 15, 2012

Original Article - Thanks Obamacare: 83% of Doctors Surveyed Say They May Quit

The Doctor Patient Medical Association has released a new survey of about 700 doctors, and the results are bleak. Scary bleak. Among other dismal figures, Doctors’ Attitudes on the Future of Medicine: What’s Wrong, Who’s to Blame, and What Will Fix It found that 83% of respondents are contemplating leaving the industry if Obamacare is fully implemented, owing to its disastrous projected consequences. Indeed, they openly blame the healthcare law for their industry’s woes:

KEY FINDINGS

  • 90% say the medical system is on the WRONG TRACK
  • 83% say they are thinking about QUITTING
  • 61% say the system challenges their ETHICS
  • 85% say the patient-physician relationship is in a TAILSPIN
  • 65% say GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT is most to blame for current problems
  • 72% say individual insurance mandate will NOT result in improved access care
  • 49% say they will STOP accepting Medicaid patients
  • 74% say they will STOP ACCEPTING Medicare patients, or leave Medicare completely
  • 52% say they would rather treat some Medicaid/Medicare patient for FREE
  • 57% give the AMA a FAILING GRADE representing them
  • 1 out of 3 doctors is HESITANT to voice their opinion
  • 2 out of 3 say they are JUST SQUEAKING BY OR IN THE RED financially
  • 95% say private practice is losing out to CORPORATE MEDICINE
  • 80% say DOCTORS/MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS are most likely to help solve things
  • 70% say REDUCING GOVERNMENT would be single best fix.

If this isn’t an airtight argument for the repeal of Obamacare, nothing is. When the people providing the actual healthcare are thinking of getting out of the game, the system is clearly broken. Here’s hoping the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare this month.

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Congressmen Send Letter to (Lesbian) Sebelius Backing Letting ‘Low-Risk’ Homosexuals Donate Blood

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Published on: June 14, 2012

Original Article - Congressmen Send Letter to (Lesbian) Sebelius Backing Letting ‘Low-Risk’ Homosexuals Donate Blood

en. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) sent a lettersigned by 62 other Democrats to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, supporting her agency’s review of the policy that bans homosexual and bisexual men from donating blood.

The Democrats say the ban is “outdated,” and they called the HHS pilot study an important step in “assessing the feasibility of allowing healthy gay and bisexual men to donate blood while maintaining the safety of our blood supply.”

“Patients across the country desperately need life-saving blood transfusions, yet perfectly healthy would-be donors are turned away based solely on sexual orientation,” Quigley said.

“Equality for the LGBT community is closer than ever but outdated and discriminatory policies like this must evolve to match advancements in science and technology.”

“We’ve been working on this a long time, and I applaud Secretary Sebelius for taking this important step toward ending the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood, and instead relying on the science of today, not the myths of twenty years ago,” Kerry said. “I’m confident that the findings of these new studies will pave the way to get this policy off the books.

The lawmakers said the study will at least provide an “informed evaluation” of what it will take to end the ban on homosexuals donating blood. Currently, any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 is banned for life from donating blood.

The HHS pilot study will look at alternative criteria for deferring donations from men who have sex with men.

In their letter, Kerry and Quigley asked HHS to explore ways of distinguishing “high-risk” homosexuals from “low-risk” homosexuals.

“For instance, the donor questionnaire could collect information on whether or not the donor is in a monogamous relationship or if the donor engages in effective preventive measures,” the wrote. “In this way the donor questionnaire could assess the risk level of all potential donors, regardless of sexual orientation.”

They also urged HHS to “be vigilant” in avoiding any “real or perceived unwarranted discriminatory treatment” of homosexuals in the process of conducting the pilot study.

This is the second letter Kerry and Quigley have sent to Sebelius urging a policy change on homosexual blood donors. The first was sent in June 2010.

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The Elite Are Attempting To Convince Us That Killing Off Our Sick Grandparents Is Cool And Trendy

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Published on: June 14, 2012

Original Article - The Elite Are Attempting To Convince Us That Killing Off Our Sick Grandparents Is Cool And Trendy

What should be done with elderly Americans when they become very seriously ill? Should we try to save their lives or should we just let them die? Unfortunately, there is a growing consensus among the “intellectual elite” that most elderly people are not going to have a high enough “quality of life” to justify the expense of costly life saving procedures. This philosophy is now being promoted very heavily through mainstream news outlets, in our television shows and in big Hollywood movies. The elite are attempting to convince us that killing off our sick grandparents is cool and trendy. We are being told that “pulling the plug” on grandma and grandpa is compassionate (because it will end their suffering), that it is good for the environment and that it is even good for the economy. We are being told that denying life saving treatments to old people will dramatically reduce health care costs and make the system better for all of us. We are being told that it is not “efficient” for health insurance companies to shell out $100,000 for an operation that may extend the life of an elderly person by 6 months. But the truth is that all of this is part of a larger agenda that the elite are attempting to advance. As I have written about previously, the elite love death, and they truly believe that reducing the population is good for society and good for the planet. Sadly, population control propaganda has reached a fever pitch in recent months.

Time Magazine has just come out with a very shocking cover story entitled “How To Die”. The article goes on and on about how wonderful and compassionate it is to remove life saving treatment from sick relatives.

A recent article by Mike Adams summarized the message of this disgusting article….

Inside, the magazine promotes a cost-saving death agenda that encourages readers to literally “pull the feeding tubes” from their dying elderly parents, causing them to dehydrate and die. This is explained as a new cost-saving measure that drastically reduces return hospital visits by the elderly… yeah, because dead people don’t return to the hospital, of course.

Many of you also probably remember the Newsweek cover story from a couple years ago that was entitled “The Case for Killing Granny“.

Underneath that shocking title was the following phrase: “Curbing excessive end-of-life care is good for America.”

According to the author of that article, spending less money on the elderly is the key to successful health care reform….

The idea that we might ration health care to seniors (or anyone else) is political anathema. Politicians do not dare breathe the R word, lest they be accused—however wrongly—of trying to pull the plug on Grandma. But the need to spend less money on the elderly at the end of life is the elephant in the room in the health-reform debate. Everyone sees it but no one wants to talk about it. At a more basic level, Americans are afraid not just of dying, but of talking and thinking about death. Until Americans learn to contemplate death as more than a scientific challenge to be overcome, our health-care system will remain unfixable.

Sadly, articles like that one are becoming quite frequent in mainstream media sources.

Just a few days ago, a Bloomberg article entitled “How ‘Death Panels’ Can Prolong Life” declared that we must “deny treatment to people who want it” in order to hold down costs….

In short, all the Republican talk during the health-care- reform debate about “death panels” was melodramatic and unfair, but not ridiculous. One way or another, holding down health-care costs will require policies that deny treatment to people who want it. And want it because it will extend their lives.

This goes on already, all the time. Health insurance companies have been known to deny payment for treatments deemed unnecessary. Age limits for organ transplants are another example. All policies that involve denying care because of “quality of life” considerations are, in effect, “death panels.” But no society can afford to give every citizen every possible therapy. Medicare is going broke trying.

So who are we supposed to deny treatment to?

The elderly of course.

According to that Bloomberg article, we are supposed to kill off our sick grandparents because the “quality of life” they would be expected to have if they recover would not be enough to warrant spending so much to save them….

A $200,000 operation can add a year or two to the life of an octogenarian, or it can save decades of life for younger people. In a country like the U.S., with an average life expectancy of 78.5, it takes 10 septuagenarians who get an extra five years from the health-care system to balance a single 30- year-old who gets 50 extra years. Or save the life of a newborn, who then enjoys a normal life span and dies at 78.5, and you have the same impact on national life expectancy as 16 operations on septuagenarians. The average national life expectancy can increase even as the cost goes down.

This is the kind of thinking that starts happening in a society that dramatically devalues life.

If human life has little value, then it is easy to start justifying things that would have once been unthinkable.

For example, one surgeon is now suggesting that we should start harvesting organs from patients before they die….

Dr. Paul Morrissey, an associate professor of surgery at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, wrote in The American Journal of Bioethics that the protocol known as donation after cardiac death — meaning death as a result of irreversible damage to the cardiovascular system — has increased the number of organs available for transplant, but has a number of limitations, including the need to wait until the heart stops.

Because of the waiting time, Morrissey said that about one-third of potential donors end up not being able to donate, and many organs turn out to not be viable as a result.

Instead, he argues in favor of procuring kidneys from patients with severe irreversible brain injury whose families consent to kidney removal before their cardiac and respiratory systems stop functioning.

Do you want your organs harvested before you are dead?

Sadly, those that often do need organ transplants the most these days are often denied for “quality of life” issues as well.

For example, at one U.S. hospital a 3-year-old girl named Amelia was denied a kidney transplant that she desperately needed simply because she is considered to be “mentally retarded”.

These are the kinds of decisions that are being made by doctors and by health insurance companies all over America every day.

And did you know that life-ending drugs are going to be 100% free under Obamacare?

I did not know this until I read a Christian Post article the other day….

A Christian-based legal defense alliance is warning Americans who already believe that President Barack Obama’s health care plan is a bad idea that the “ObamaCare mandate is worse than you think.”

“Everyone likes a good surprise, but no one likes a bad surprise. So, you’re really not going to like the surprises buried in the 2,700 pages of this document,” says the narrator of a short video produced by the Alliance Defense Fund.

“Did you know that with ObamaCare you will have to pay for life-saving drugs, but life-ending drugs are free. One hundred percent free. If this plan were really about health care wouldn’t it be the other way around?”

Apparently they want to make it as easy to off yourself and your relatives as possible.

So where is all of this headed?

Are we eventually going to become like the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, mobile euthanasia teams are now going door to door to help elderly patients end their lives in the comfort of their own homes.

Is that what we want?

Do we want government agents going door to door to help people die?

As I have written about previously, the elite believe that the world is massively overpopulated and they believe that all of us are ruining their planet.

So they love euthanasia, abortion and pretty much anything else that will result in more people ending up dead.

What are your thoughts about all of this? Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below….

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NYC Food Police Now Target Popcorn (Nazis Never Satisfied)

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Published on: June 13, 2012

Original Article - NYC Food Police Now Target Popcorn (Nazis Never Satisfied)

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

 

RUSH: Once they start, they never stop, and they are never happy no matter what they get. I’m talking about the American left. First Mayor Doomberg comes out… well, what was first? Was it trans fats first? Was it salt first? Salt, New York City. Well, yeah, but Doomberg didn’t do the smoking, did he? Was Doomberg the guy that led the smoking ban? Oh, that’s right, that’s right, ’cause Rudy smokes cigars. Rudy wouldn’t do that. Okay, so Doomberg is taking the fun out of life in Fun City, in New York City.

So it started with smoking, then trans fats, then salt, and then large sweetened soft drinks, and now this. “The board hand-picked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that must approve his ban of selling large sugar-filled drinks at restaurants might be looking at other targets.

The New York City Board of Health showed support for limiting sizes of sugary drinks at a Tuesday meeting in Queens. They agreed to start the process to formalize the large-drink ban by agreeing to start a six-week public comment period.” And then, after getting the ball rolling on that, “Some of the members of board said they should be considering other limits on high-calorie foods.

“One member, Bruce Vladeck, thinks limiting the sizes for movie theater popcorn should be considered. ‘The popcorn isn’t a whole lot better than the soda,’ Vladeck said. Another board member thinks milk drinks should fall under the size limits. ‘There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories,’ said board member Dr. Joel Forman.” They’ve already eliminated coconut oil as the oil you can use to pop popcorn, and it’s one of the healthiest oils out there and it’s what always made the movie theater smell like the movie theater. No matter what you pop popcorn in, if it’s not coconut oil, it doesn’t smell like a movie theater. I don’t care, Crisco, Wesson, Mazola, nothing is like coconut oil. And there’s another reason that coconut oil was used by concessionaires, and that is it holds the popcorn much longer.

I remember when I worked at the Kansas City Royals, the concessionaire at the time was an outfit named Volume Services. I don’t know if they’re still around. They use Aramark now, and that might be the new name. Anyway, Volume Services, and part of my job was to go down and get to know these people. Their operation was underneath the parking lot between Royals Stadium, Kauffman Stadium now, and Arrowhead Stadium. I went down there and the minute I got down to this cave, all I smelled was the popcorn. I said, “Oh, my gosh, this is my opportunity. I’m gonna go get some coconut oil from these guys.” So I met the head honcho, and I went down there, and he had vats and vats and vats of the coconut oil. I said, “Gee, can you give me some of this stuff?”

“Oh, yeah, yeah, how much?”

I said, “Where do you get it?”

“Well, we can only get this through a private service. You can’t get it publicly. It’s not available for consumers.”

I said, “Why not?”

I forget what he said. But he said, “The reason we use it is not just because of the smell and taste; it holds the popcorn. We can pop popcorn and two weeks later, as long as we heat it up, it’ll taste just like it came out of the popper.” Well, I’ve tested that, and that’s true. I now have three or four coconut oil popcorn machines throughout my homestead, and I’ve tested it. Popped the stuff up, and put it in Ziploc bags, whatever you don’t use, heat it up a week later and it’s fresh as it can be. No other oil does that, so it’s economical as well.

Well, the Center for Science and Public Interest took care of that. They got that banned on the basis it will clog your arteries and cause strokes, heart attacks, death, and all that. Now they’re actually going to try to ban certain sizes of popcorn in movie theaters. And milk drinks. Where does this stuff stop? Now, we sit here and we laugh at it, but it doesn’t stop with these people. They’re not content to limit themselves. They have to limit everybody else. They have to make sure everybody else follows the same dictates. And it’s none of their business.

Now, Doomberg was asked about this. CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose never got more publicity than he gets on this show. We are probably are making Charlie Rose’s career. Nobody watches that show, but since I put a ban on MSNBC, the only place we can go to get liberal sound bites is CBS, NBC, or CNN. And, no, I’m not gonna lift the ban on MSNBC. Can I tell you something? I took MSNBC off the top monitor here a month ago. It was a slow, creeping thing. It wasn’t an instant, massive realization. It was just one day I realized I wasn’t constantly running around ticked off, thinking I had to react to something, respond to something, listen to something asinine, insane, stupid, which is all there is on MSNBC.

My life, my professional life has been enhanced profoundly by not having that network on and not listening to the stupid sound bites that come out of the people that work there. That’s a tradeoff. Now we have to play Charlie Rose sound bites and Anderson Cooper sound bites, but life is made of sacrifices. And this one has been one of those that turned out to actually not be a sacrifice, but a positive. So, anyway, Doomberg is talking to Charlie Rose today. And Charlie Rose said, “You talk about education, crime, and gun control, but you attract enormous attention for what you’re trying to do in health. There was smoking. There was trans fat. Now there’s sugar and sugary drinks.” And he doesn’t mention it, but popcorn and milk products are next. “What is it? What is it that drives you to impose this stuff on people?”

BLOOMBERG: If government’s purpose isn’t to improve the health and longevity of its citizens, I don’t know what its purpose is. We certainly have an obligation to tell them what’s in the best science and best medicine says is in their interests.

RUSH: How do we know if that’s true? One of the things we’ve learned over the course of the last 20 years is what science tells us is bogus. How many scientific theories — and I’m not even counting global warming in this — how many scientific theories have we heard over the years that turn out not to be true? I mean I ought to keep a list of them, because it’s longer than anybody can remember. But science has been politicized, and it’s dominated by people on the left, and Doomberg’s a leftist, and so whatever they say is unchallengeable. It’s always true.

Okay, so he says, if government’s purpose isn’t to improve the health and longevity of its citizens, I don’t know what its purpose is. We certainly have an obligation to tell them what’s — okay, tell us. Tell us. But don’t impose on us. If you want to tell us that large sugary drinks are dangerous, let us make the decision. If you want to tell us that big vats of popcorn you think are unhealthy, fine, let us make the decision. Put a label on it if you want to. You know, put a picture of a clogged artery on the popcorn bowl. We don’t care. Just let us buy it if we want it.

Folks, this is classic liberalism. This is classic statism. This is right in front of our eyes, the vast, rapid erosion of personal liberty and freedom. Now, you might think it’s a minor thing, but these things never stop. Once they start, they never are satisfied. No improvement, no ban, no progress, as far as they define it, is ever enough. Where does this stop? It doesn’t. That’s the point, it doesn’t stop. These people have to be limited in their access to power. It is none of their business.

Go ahead. Do all the science you want, do all the research, and then tell us — and let us make the decision. But they can’t do that because, as far as they’re concerned, we don’t have what it takes. We’re not smart enough. We’re not educated enough. We’re not bright enough to know what’s good for us and what’s bad for us. It is not just with popcorn and Coke and cigarettes and all the other things. No, no, no. It everything.

It’s health care. It’s buying a house. It’s getting into college. It’s paying for college. We don’t know diddly-squat. They want to run and control everything, and who set them up as the arbiters? They did, pure and simple. So Charlie Rose said, “Well, sugar seems to have gotten bigger attention. You talk about the size of the drink and the big newspaper pictures of you as a nanny.”

BLOOMBERG: But that’s just because it’s the story of the week. That’ll get blended into lots of other things. The average person today is much heavier than they were. Uh, this is… Obesity is becoming the single-biggest health problem in America and will kill more people than smoking in a few years.

RUSH: They just throw this stuff out. No backup. No proof for it. But so what? We’re all going to die. See, this is where health care comes in, because what he’s not saying is, “We’re gonna be paying for your health care and we’re gonna have to limit how much we pay for you, so you’re gonna have a role. You’re gonna be told what you can and can’t eat, and how much of what you can’t eat you can eat. Otherwise, it’s gonna put cost pressures on health care.”

They were wrong about salt, by the way.

Was it just last week or two weeks ago we had that big story? All of these stories about salt and high blood pressure turn out to be wrong. “Mr. Limbaugh, why do you automatically accept that story and then simply refuse 20,000 years of previous history?” That’s Mr. New Castrati asking me a question. Mr. New Castrati, that’s not the point. The point is, for 20,000 years “Salt = High Blood Pressure.” Last week or two weeks ago, the story says: No, it doesn’t. What are we to believe? The point is, they don’t know. And yet here we are making policy on this. You’ve got…

Doomberg has far more important things to do than this kind of stuff, but this is… It’s all about control. It’s all about… (sigh) I don’t know. I grow weary. It’s not the only thing. Here’s National Review today: “By proposing a ban on large sodas in New York City, Mayor Bloomberg made himself a competitive candidate for Chairman of the Anti-Fun Committee. But the FDA just might have him beat: They’ve moved to regulate cigars as they already do cigarettes.” We knew this was coming.

Just a second. My cigar happens to have gone out. (torch igniting) So I, El Rushbo, am gonna torch it up here. And I’m gonna puff on this baby while I tell you what the details of this story are. (puffing) All right. “Representative Bill Posey (R., Fla.) has introduced legislation, currently before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to block the FDA’s effort.” So far, so good. He’s got “203 co-sponsors in the House and nine in the Senate, including Bill Nelson (R., Fla.), who has introduced a version in the [Senate].”

What they want to do is regulate cigars identically to the way they regulate cigarettes: Warnings, bans, can’t smoke them anywhere, can’t touch them. This FDA rule would prevent people from going into a tobacco store and actually touching the merchandise! Every day, folks. When is this gonna end? It’s not minor; it’s not insignificant. Out of context and by itself, it’s laughable. It’s funny. But you throw it all in the mix with who these people are and what they’re trying to do, and what you end up with is a Barack Obama and his administration.

And these people represent 30% of the thinking in this country. They are not the majority. And even if they were, it wouldn’t entitle them to impose every scientific belief they hold on the rest of us. Just because they believe it, doesn’t mean we have to. Just because they believe something doesn’t mean we must be subject to their mandates on these things. Not in the United States of America.

 

END TRANSCRIPT

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Right-to-Die Movement Sees Gains as World Ages (Anti-Life Scum Dream…)

Original Article - Right-to-Die Movement Sees Gains as World Ages (Anti-Life Scum Dream…)

Right-to-die activists hope more countries will allow assisted suicide or euthanasia in coming years as the world population ages, but opponents are determined to stop them, a dispute that flared ahead of competing conferences in Switzerland.

“We have seen over the last 20 years a general migration of positivity towards this being a just cause,” Ted Goodwin, the American president of the World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies, told a news conference in Zurich on Tuesday.

Goodwin was speaking as representatives of 55 right-to-die societies from around the world gathered for a three-day congress to mark the 30th anniversary of Exit, a Swiss group which provides lethal drugs to help the terminally ill die.

Assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since 1942, if performed by a non-physician who has no direct interest in the death. Euthanasia, or “mercy killing”, is legal only in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the U.S. state of Oregon.

Goodwin said the election of Socialist Francois Hollande as French president could help the euthanasia cause in Europe. Hollande has said he favors euthanasia under strict conditions.

“If France falls into line, I believe Germany will also adopt it. That is a game changer in Europe,” he said, noting support for reform was also gaining traction in Australia and Massachusetts. “Things are happening slowly but surely.”

He said ageing societies meant that half of medical costs are now falling in the last three to six months of life on care that does not change the trajectory of a disease.

The number of Swiss residents who died by assisted suicide rose sevenfold between 1998 and 2009 to almost 300, statistics published for the first time showed in March.

“BURDEN FOR SOCIETY”

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is organizing an alternative conference on Friday to coincide with the public part of the Right-to-Die gathering in Zurich.

“Together with the increasing cost pressure in the health sector and the increasing loneliness of older people, organized assistance for suicide is a breeding ground which promotes suicide,” Roland Graf, a priest who is vice-president for Human Life International Switzerland, told a separate news conference.

“The pressure is growing on people who can no longer give to society what is expected of them. They increasingly feel themselves as a burden for society and their relatives.”

A rise in terminally ill foreigners – particularly from Germany, France and Britain – travelling to Switzerland to commit suicide have prompted calls in recent years for the country to tighten its liberal laws.

But in 2010, voters in Zurich overwhelmingly rejected proposed bans on assisted suicide and “suicide tourism”, and in 2011, the national government decided against imposing new limits on assisted suicide.

Goodwin said the examples of Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium and Oregon had not shown any noteworthy abuse.

“Ours is a mission of compassion, of generosity. We know that no-one is more vulnerable than those who are dying and those dying in pain,” he said. “Society can provide protection for vulnerable individuals.”

Exit President Saskia Frei said the practice was carefully monitored by the Swiss authorities: “There is no death which is as closely investigated as assisted suicide,” she said.

Yet Alex Schadenberg, the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, pointed to studies from the Netherlands and Belgium which he said showed significant numbers of deaths by euthanasia “without explicit request or consent”.

“The problem with euthanasia or assisted suicide is you’re giving somebody else the right to be involved in causing your death,” he said.

“Society needs to be vigilant about suffering, but the answer is not giving power over life and death to somebody else.”

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White House Will Politicize Supreme Court Ruling Against Obamacare; Has No ‘Plan B’

Original Article - White House Will Politicize Supreme Court Ruling Against Obamacare; Has No ‘Plan B’

Team Obama did everything they could to get the unpopular Obamacare bill passed, even though the president’s party controlled Congress. This included cutting deals with the drug industry that reeked of cronyism and Democrats insinuating that conservatives and Tea Partiers who were opposed to Obamacare were racists.

And now, as Obamacare has become more unpopular the more people learn about its various provisions and may be ruled to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Team Obama still seems to know nothing but politicization.

In a piece in the New Yorker about what the Obama administration’s agenda in a potential second term would be, reporter Ryan Lizza quotes a former Obama aide who reveals to him how the White House intends to politicize Obamacare should the Supreme Court find it, or parts of it, to be unconstitutional:

Whether the Supreme Court overturns the law in part or in full, the White House will need to respond publicly. “The strategy is to just go on the offensive and say, ‘Look at Citizens United, look at the health-care decision, look at Bush v. Gore,” the former aide said. “We have an out-of-control activist court, and Romney will make it worse. That’s Plan A. Plan B is nothing.”

Even though it may be better for conservatives that Team Obama does not have a “Plan B” for more government control of healthcare, this is troubling for many reasons. First, it reinforces how how Obama can only run by scaring his base and not on significant policies Americans like and want continued. Second, even though, in this case, the lack of planning in the White House is better than any plan, for an administration to not have multiple contingencies plans regarding their most significant domestic political accomplishment shows a make-it-up-as-you-go-along administration filled with people whose first — and oftentimes only — instinct is to politicize instead of effectively govern. This is troubling in areas — like foreign policy — where such an approach invariably does more harm than good and reinforces the belief held by many that the former community organizer — and his so-called team of geniuses — is in over his head in the White House.

Most importantly, though, this represents a White House out of touch with the public, which threw out of Democrats primarily because of Obamacare. Unlike former President Bill Clinton, who took the public’s rejection of his liberal policies and moderated to the right in his second term, eventually working with Republicans on welfare reform and balanced budgets, Obama seems to have no intention of taking the public’s dislike of Obamacare into consideration. A White House that heard the public’s dislike of Obamacare in 2010 would surely have contingency plans that took into consideration many of the frustrations small business, doctors, and patients had with Obamacare.

Not having a “Plan B” reveals a White House that is either incompetent or arrogant. Or both.

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NY Times: Evidence White House Colluded with Big Pharma to Push Obamacare

Original Article - NY Times: Evidence White House Colluded with Big Pharma to Push Obamacare

A new trove of emails shows President Barack Obama’s White House agreed to help drug companies block a proposal to bring down medicine prices so they would back Obama’s healthcare plan.

House Republicans obtained the three-year-old correspondence between the Obama administration and representatives of the drug industry and released more of them to the public on Friday, The New York Times reported.

The exchanges show the compromises as they were being negotiated that laid the groundwork for the health care law now awaiting the judgment of the Supreme Court.
The Times reported that in 2009 drug industry lobbyist — concerned after weeks of talks about a proposal for the reimportation of prescription medicines at lower prices — e-mailed White House health care adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle about the matter.

DeParle assured the lobbyist, according to the Times, saying that athough Obama was overseas, White House officials had “made decision, based on how constructive you guys have been, to oppose importation” on a different proposal.

In the end, the drug industry agreed to provide $80 billion to expand health coverage in exchange for protection from policies that would cost more, the Times reported.
The paper said Obama felt the deal had to be made if he was to be successful in getting his healthcare proposals — nicknamed Obamacare — accepted.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the healthcare industry agreed, as part of the plan, to funnel $70 million to two groups, Healthy Economy Now and Americans for Stable Quality Care, which were running advertisements supporting reform.

The e-mails also reveal discussions about an advertising campaign to support Obama’s health plan. “They plan to hit up the ‘bad guys’ for most of the $,” a union official wrote after an April meeting, according to the Times. “They want us to just put in enough to be able to put our names in it — he is thinking @100K.”

In another email reported by the Times, a drug industry official urged colleagues to sign a joint statement with the White House: “Rahm is already furious. The ire will be turned on us,” it said, referring to former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The emails drew fire from Republicans who see the closed-door dealing as hypocritical.

“He said it was going to be the most open and honest and transparent administration ever and lobbyists won’t be drafting the bills,” Rep. Michael Burgess, of Texas, told the Times.
“Then when it came time, the door closed, the lobbyists came in and the bills were written.”

But Democrats hit back. Rep. Henry Waxman of California claimed there is nothing new in the emails. “The Republicans spent over a year on this investigation, received and reviewed countless documents from a dozen different organizations, and conducted multiple interviews — only to learn what was publicly reported years ago,” Waxman said.

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The ObamaCare Poll That the White House Hates

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Published on: June 9, 2012

Original Article – The ObamaCare poll that the White House Hates

A new survey shows that a full two-thirds of Americans would like to see all or part of ObamaCare struck down by the Supreme Court

Two-thirds of Americans would like to see the Supreme Court strike down all or part of ObamaCare, according to a new poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS. The poll comes as the country awaits the Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, which is expected to be handed down sometime before the end of June. During oral arguments in the spring, conservative justices expressed skepticism about the constitutionality of ObamaCare’s central provision: The individual mandate, which requires most Americans to buy health insurance. Here, four takeaways from the latest poll:

1. ObamCare is still very, very unpopular According to the poll, 41 percent of Americans would like the high court to overturn the entire law, while another 27 percent said only the individual mandate should be struck down. A mere 24 percent said the justices should uphold the entire law. Republicans are particularly opposed to ObamaCare, with about two-thirds saying the whole law should go. However, the law isn’t all that popular with Democrats either, with only 43 percent saying the court should keep the entire law intact.

2. The Supreme Court has political cover Court watchers have long debated whether the nine justices take public opinion into account when making decisions, and the judges would likely deny any allegation that they did. However, if you’re a conservative justice, “and you want to rule against the individual mandate but you’re worried about a public backlash, this poll calms your fears,” says Ezra Klein at The Washington Post.

3. But the high court is more unpopular than ever Only 44 percent of Americans “approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three-quarters say the justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views,” say Adam Liptak and Allison Kopicki at The New York Times. The court’s “standing with the public has slipped significantly in the past quarter-century,” due to growing distrust of government institutions and suspicions that the court is a nakedly political animal. Only one in eight respondents said the court decides cases on a purely legal basis.

4. Obama’s political fortunes are very much on the line The continued unpopularity of ObamaCare has Democrats complaining that the president “did a terrible job selling the overhaul to the American people,” says Donna Cassata of The Associated Press. An ObamaCare defeat at the Supreme Court “could demoralize Democrats” just months before the November election. Indeed, says Erika Johnsen at Hot Air: The crowning achievement of Obama’s first term could very well become “the crowning failure of his one-term presidency.”

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Poll Finds Strong Support for High Court to Strike Down Health Law, Mandate (70% AGAINST)

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Published on: June 7, 2012

Original Article - Poll Finds Strong Support for High Court to Strike Down Health Law, Mandate (70% AGAINST)

Nearly seven in 10 Americans hope the Supreme Court will decide against all or part of President Obama’s healthcare reform law, according to a new poll.

The finding comes as the country braces for the court’s decision. A ruling is expected by the end of June.

The New York Timesand CBS News found that 41 percent of those surveyed want the entire law overturned while 27 percent want its key provision — the individual mandate to buy health insurance — struck down.

Twenty-four percent want the Supreme Court to uphold the entire law.

Just over two-thirds of Republicans (67 percent) want the entire law struck down, according to the poll — more than the number of Democrats who want it upheld, just four in 10.
Among unaffiliated voters, a plurality (42 percent) want the entire law overturned, while a slightly smaller share (30 percent) said they wanted mandate struck down but the rest of the law to stand.

About one in five political independents want the law upheld.
According to CBS, 70 percent of Tea Party supporters wanted the entire law thrown out.
The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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White House Threatens to Veto Any Repeal of Obamacare’s “Medical Device Tax”

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Published on: June 6, 2012

Original Article - White House Threatens to Veto Any Repeal of Obamacare’s “Medical Device Tax”

It is a truth universally acknowledged that, if you want to discourage a certain behavior, you can put a tax on it. (Note: I am in no way endorsing said policy, just pointing out that when you put a tax on something, you can reliably predict that you’ll get less of it.) So, one would assume that through the oh-so-august auspices of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which include a forthcoming tax on the medical device industry, President Obama is trying to discourage… uh, medical device innovation? Gee, how nice.

Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minnesota) is one of the Congressmen leading the charge in getting rid of this little innovation-discouraging surprise contained within ObamaCare, and he’s got plenty of bipartisan support for the bill up for a vote this week. He and Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pennsylvania) took to The Hill‘s blog to make their case:

In less than seven months, on January 1, 2013, a new tax on medical device companies (part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is set to steamroll American leadership in medical innovation. The 2.3% excise tax will be levied on all types of medical devices, from heart stents and pacemakers to MRIs and ultrasounds. Because the new tax is on revenue, not profit, a small company that is not yet in the black would bear the biggest brunt. This tax will hit medical device companies especially hard in states that are leading the way in medical innovation; states like Pennsylvania, Minnesota, California, New York, and Massachusetts.

After touring many device companies, both large and small, we know that this impending tax may force companies to cut jobs, reduce investment in R&D, move overseas, or even shut down completely. This is the worst possible outcome not only for American jobs and American innovation, but also for the patients who might not have access to a new medical device or a new technology that could save their lives.

The bill has a good chance of making it through the House, but Harry Reid’s office has indicated the Senate will not take up the legislation, and the White House has already issued their veto threat.

White House officials threatened a veto Wednesday of a Republican bill that would repeal a tax on the makers of many medical devices sold in the U.S., in the latest partisan clash over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. …

The device industry is getting a potential 30 million additional customers who eventually will gain medical insurance due to the health care overhaul, the White House said in its letter warning of the veto.

“This excise tax is one of several designed so that industries that gain from the coverage expansion will help offset the cost of that expansion,” the White House said.

Industry officials insist they won’t gain extra customers, arguing that elderly people who use many of their products are already insured under Medicare.

For another explanation on why this tax would be so devastating, check out this piece from Forbes today — this tax will not only seriously undermine our ability to compete, but could make health care a lot more expensive for a lot of people, to boot (come on, SCOTUS, do the right thing!).

My colleague Robert Book has written a compelling analysis of Obamacare’s medical-device tax, which concludes that it will destroy about 14,000 and perhaps up to 47,100 jobs. The 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices is a savage blow to innovation. Note that this tax is on sales, not profits. It cuts into the top line, not the bottom line. If not repealed, this tax will start hitting medical-device makers on January 1, 2013.

Another colleague, Benjamin Zycher, has come at the tax from a different angle: In an analysis that concludes that the tax will lead to a reduction in research and development by about $2 billion every year, Zycher estimates how many patients will suffer early deaths because of the throttling of innovation.

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Fat Blowhard Michelle Obama Applauds Bloomberg Soda Ban!

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Published on: June 5, 2012

Original Article - Fat Blowhard Michelle Obama Applauds Bloomberg Soda Ban!

First lady Michelle Obama tells the Associated Press that she wouldn’t want a federal ban on big sugary drink, but applauds Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to fight obesity:

Asked about Bloomberg’s proposal during an interview with The Associated Press, Mrs. Obama said there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution for the country’s health challenges. But she said, “We applaud anyone who’s stepping up to think about what changes work in their communities. New York is one example.”

And asked whether the nation’s obesity epidemic warrants taking a more aggressive approach, such as Bloomberg’s, she said: “There are people like Mayor Bloomberg who are, and that is perfectly fine.”

Mrs. Obama later issued a statement saying that she hadn’t intended to weigh in on the Bloomberg plan “one way or the other.”

“I was trying to make the point that every community is different and every solution is different and that I applaud local leaders including mayors, business leaders, parents, etc., who are taking this issue seriously and working towards solving this problem.”

Despite the relatively benign intentions and scope of the first lady’s healthy eating initiatives, Let’s Move and other programs have occasionally attracted political attention and criticism. Still, Obama’s initiatives have generally revolved around engagement and outreach, while Bloomberg’s soda proposal would be law.

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